Digital Influence In Social Cause 2009 Report


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Digital Influence In Social Cause 2009 Report

  1. 1. digital influence in social cause november 9, 2009 1 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  2. 2. contents about 3 letter of introduction 4 the top 5- list 5 analysis 7 top 10 digital influencers in social cause 20 methodology 24 about the authors 25 contact 26 image credits 27 2 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  3. 3. About Sparxoo Sparxoo is leading a new generation of business— one that prioritizes deeper customer engagement, harnesses the power of social media, and strives for purposeful, sustainable, social impact. Founded in 2007 with over 20 years of digital media, strategy, and creative experience, the Sparxoo team leads strategic initiatives in branding, digital marketing, and business development. We fuse left and right brain thinking to inspire creativity, innovation, and ultimately to achieve breakthrough results. We have led digital projects in news, sports, digital influence in education, lifestyle, travel, and shopping, including our projects across ad networks, video, and mobile. Our clients include industry leaders Habitat for Humanity, NBC, Comcast, Newsweek, and Lifetime. We are proud of our collaboration with social cause digital and social entrepreneur teams at TOMS, Snipi, Snipi Next Step, and Clean Plates. Beyond Step Plates Report Background achieving ambitious goals, we seek to build Never before have so many tools been available to analyze meaningful relationships and inspire a sustainable and clarify digital influence. The 2009 Digital Influence in community of entrepreneurship and corporate Social Cause Report leverages these tools to measure the leadership. influence of those best-in-class charities in the digital sphere. Please visit our blog at to learn more about our ambitious team of creatively strategic Sparxoo identified and ranked the top 50 new and entrepreneurs. established leaders in social cause in a comprehensive study of digital efforts, engagement and stretch. The Report concludes that established leaders, such as the American Red Cross (#1), are joined by newcomers such as Kiva (#3). Surprisingly, the controversial PETA organization ranked #2 while much-hyped organizations like Charity Water lagged behind (#20) The Digital Influence in Social (#20). Cause takes aim at the digital efforts of established leaders and new entrants to find the best-in-class, digital-savvy organizations. 3 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  4. 4. letter of introduction Charitable giving has been on the decline since the onset of the recession. Total US gifts and pledges decreased 5.7% on an inflation- adjusted basis to $308 billion in 2008 according to Giving USA dj t d b i t billi i di t Gi i Foundation. More than half of charities are experiencing a downturn in contributions so far this year compared to the same time in 2008, according to an informal poll by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In the face of these challenges, nearly three in ten of the leaders of the nation's biggest charities and foundations have taken pay cuts in the past year, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Given overall challenges, non-profits are increasingly searching for new ways to grow the impact of their organizations. In 2009, there have been several social causes successes in the digital world, led by the Twestival phenomenon. Allison Jones reports, “Last year people in over 150 cities used Twitter to raise money and awareness for charity:water, a nonprofit that builds wells for communities throughout Africa. Giving the overwhelming amount of support and money raised (over $1 million!), Twestival is back this year but with a new twist—each twist each city is supporting a local charity.” With the growth of Facebook Twitter and other social platforms charity Facebook, platforms, the digital landscape is changing quickly. There are new opportunities to engage audiences to raise the visibility of social causes, deepen existing donor relationships, and inspire a new generation of philanthropists. Our team at Sparxoo embarked on this study, “Digital Influence in Social Cause,” to evaluate how the landscape is shifting. We define digital influence in social cause based on overall impact of efforts, audience engagement, and digital stretch. Our team scoured for data that show the breadth and depth of consumer interaction with social cause leaders, including total charitable donations, web site traffic, YouTube presence, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and Tumblr presence. We considered over 100 different charitable organizations ranging from household names such as American Red Cross and United Way to lesser known charities such as Smile Train and Farm Aid (please see methodology for more details). As we compiled the results, we wondered if the much-hyped Charity Water had surpassed the established leaders and just how much influence Kiva had accumulated since its founding in 2005. We were surprised by the results and believe there are significant learnings to be found in these rankings. The established charitable leaders still have influence, but need to accelerate their digital efforts in the face of significant competition from emerging upstarts and organizations focusing on environmental causes. American Red Cross ranks as the #1 digital influencer in social cause. More surprising, is that you have to go to #28 on the list before you get to United Way. The Top 20 includes 3 newer members to social cause: Kiva (#3), Lance Armstrong Foundation (#9), and Charity: Water (#20). The Top 20 also includes 3 organizations focused on animals, nature, and the environment: PETA (#2), Greenpeace (#4), and World Wildlife Fund (#11). At Sparxoo, we believe that social cause is going mainstream. Through our work with Habitat for Humanity, TOMS and Clean Plates we have seen the power of a social mission. Through our blog, we have tracked the acceleration of digital development, which affords new opportunities to upstarts such as Charity: Water. While it is tempting to devote all of our attention to new entrants, we also recognize the potential rewards for established organizations such as the American Red Cross (founded in 1881) that embrace today’s digital world and attempt to reinvent themselves. As we emerge into a new economy, forward thinking leaders will survive and thrive. Warm regards regards, David Capece Managing Partner, Sparxoo 4 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  5. 5. top 50 digital influencers in social cause p g Digital Influence Rank Magnitude of Social Digital Organization OVERALL Efforts Engagement Stretch American Red Cross 1 **** **** **** PETA 2 **** ** **** Kiva 3 ** **** **** Greenpeace Fund 4 *** **** **** American Cancer Society 5 **** **** ** AARP 6 **** ** *** Habitat for Humanity International 7 *** *** *** UNICEF 8 *** * **** Lance Armstrong Foundation 9 * **** *** American Heart Association 10 **** *** ** World Wildlife Fund 11 *** **** ** ACLU 12 **** * **** p Peace Corps 13 ** ** **** YMCA 14 * * **** Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 15 ** **** ** St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 16 **** * *** Boy Scouts of America 17 **** *** ** The Salvation Army 18 *** * *** American Diabetes Association 19 *** ** ** Charity:Water 20 * **** * World Vision 21 *** * *** To Write Love on Her Arms 22 * *** *** Girl Scouts 23 *** * ** The Nature Conservancy 24 ** *** ** The Humane Society of the United States 25 *** ** * * Star rating system: 4 stars is the highest ranking, 1 star is the lowest ranking. Please see the “Methodology” section for detailed descriptions of our overall and category rankings. 5 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  6. 6. top 50 digital influencers in social cause p g Digital Influence Rank Magnitude of Social Digital Organization OVERALL Efforts Engagement Stretch Goodwill Industries 26 ** * * March of Dimes Foundation 27 ** *** * United Way 28 * ** *** Human Rights Campaign 29 * *** * Clinton Global Initiatve 30 *** * * Planned Parenthood Federation of America 31 *** * ** Special Olympics p y p 32 * * ** Invisible Children 33 * ** *** Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 34 * **** * Teach For America 35 ** ** * Make-A-Wish Foundation 36 * *** * The LAMP 37 * * **** CARE USA 38 ** ** * One Campaign 39 * ** * Americorps 40 ** * * National Audubon Society 41 * * * NAACP 42 * * *** Easter Seals 43 * * * City of Hope 44 * * * The Arc of the United States 45 * * * Volunteers of America 46 ** * * Boys & Girls Club of America 47 * * * The Rotary Foundation 48 * *** * Michael J. Fox Foundation 49 * * * Acumen Fund 50 * *** * * Star rating system: 4 stars is the highest ranking, 1 star is the lowest ranking. Please see the “Methodology” section for detailed descriptions of our overall and category rankings. 6 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  7. 7. environment and animals intersect as nature’s cause By David Capece, Managing Partner Les Palmer of Morris News Alaska says “My first thought was: How stupid do they think we are? My More and more people are becoming aware of the second was: How ridiculous can they [PETA] get?” get? importance of the natural world and the human impact on our planet. This discussion is growing Just a few notches below PETA, Greenpeace comes politically, economically and culturally. The in at #4. While they too have some negative emergence of planetary cause, inclusive of animals sentiment, overall Greenpeace has built a strong fan and the environment, is being fueled online. While base. According to Greenpeace, “We bear witness to United Way and the Salvation Army may lead the environmental destruction in a peaceful, non-violent way in total dollars, PETA, Greenpeace, and World manner. We use non-violent confrontation to raise Wildlife Fund are amassing significant digital f f the level and quality of public debate. In exposing f influence with PETA claiming 2 million members and threats to the environment and finding solutions we supporters, and all three closing in on 300,000 have no permanent allies or adversaries. We ensure Facebook fans, or approximately 25x as many our financial independence from political or Facebook fans as United Way. commercial interests. We seek solutions for, and promote open, informed debate about society's We were surprised to see PETA reach #2 on our list environmental choices.” What is most striking about of Digital Influencers in Social Cause, so let s take a Cause let’s Greenpeace is their ability to get attention for deeper look. According to PETA, “their organization stunts. These offline stunts, such as the 24-hour focuses attention on the four areas in which the occupation of a mining site to focus attention on the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely urgent need for action on climate change following for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in an Obama-Harper meeting, are amplified online laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the through an impressive PR machine. According to entertainment industry. They also work on a variety Nielsen, consumers see at least 1,600 messages in a of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, typical day, so Greenpeace has used guerilla birds and other pests, and the abuse of backyard f marketing to stand out. dogs.” PETA is constantly in the spotlight by stirring controversy and garnering the participation of World Wildlife Fund rounds out this impressive trio at celebrities. Among PETA’s most recent initiatives is a #11. Unlike PETA and Greenpeace, they have campaign to save the seals, in which Holly Madison, generally garnered favorable attention. WWF offers Pam Anderson, Kelly Osbourne, and Perez Hilton are opportunities to get involved through animal among the celebs speaking out against Canada's adoptions (the top 100 list is led by the polar bear) annual seal slaughter by posing for PETA s new 'Save PETA's Save or traveling on the Wild Borneo eco eco- the Seals' ad series. That’s the latest in a series of adventure. WWF’s mission appears more grand and campaigns that includes Pam Anderson fighting worldly than that of PETA or Greenpeace: “WWF’s “Kentucky Fried Cruelty.” While one might initially ultimate goal is to build a future where people live in react that “campaigns are old media,” PETA has harmony with nature.” done an outstanding job of incorporating these campaigns as overall content on their web site, and used them to fuel influence across platforms, including YouTube. If it weren’t f some negative f for sentiment, PETA easily could have been #1 on our list. For example, in reaction to a campaign to persuade people to stop catching and eating fish, 7 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  8. 8. environment and animals intersect as nature’s cause Ironically, WWF’s aspirational mission may explain why they trail in digital influence. There is an emerging activist nation that is used to always-on, accelerated action and accomplishment in our digital world. world PETA and Greenpeace have demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, focus, and creativity in tackling major issues in the spotlight. While WWF has a positive digital voice for planetary cause, it lacks the raw firing power of its more aggressive counterparts who are using digital media as an opportunity to amplify their voice and influence. Cute pandas aren’t enough. We are moved by Kelly Osbourne and the sight of slaughtered cows. 8 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  9. 9. crowdsourcing & community involvement in social cause By Tara Lane, Staff Writer comments, photos, links and more. They want people these pages to be co-created and built by Crowdsourcing, Crowdsourcing a trend sweeping social media right other users so it becomes an environment for users, now, is not limited to coming up with new ideas or discussion and sharing, among volunteers and those helping to write a book. In addition to creating buzz, who have benefited from the program, instead of a non-profits use crowdsourcing to actually make a one-sided display. Videos of volunteer experiences, difference in the lives of others. Some of these photos of events, and announcements are made organizations exist because of social media, while through their most popular network on Facebook, the others use it as a tool to further their work. No which has more than 22,000 fans and is growing matter how it’s done, there’s no arguing that small each day. Through these networks, people can and simple efforts are leading the way f social ff for become involved even if they aren’t able to go help f change around the world. build a home, and stay connected with updates and stories from those they’re supporting. Countless numbers of Twitter followers or Facebook fans won’t mean anything unless people become Twestivals involved, taking the buzz off-screen and turning talk What started as a local event in London has led to into action. For non-profits, it’s often easy to get the widespread use of Twitter volunteers to rally people aware, but harder to get them involved. The aware involved groups together in cities across the world raising world, following examples have worked hard to change money for charity, and showing the physical impact that, and are garnering support that makes a Twitter can have. Twestivals are organized in local difference. communities, scheduling events that will happen at the same time all around the world. Local Twestival Kiva leaders volunteer thousands of hours to organize Blending microfinance with crowdsourcing, Kiva’s fundraising events, reach out to community leaders, entrepreneurs are connected to lenders, who have publicize their event, and bring together people in loaned more than $ $100 millions dollars in less than their community who are f focused on the same four years to deserving families and businesses in cause. Organizers select a cause for each year – poverty-stricken countries. In addition to helping 2010 will focus on education – and non-profits others in need, Kiva has a strong sense of social nominate themselves to be the charity of choice. media, and uses these networks to its advantage. Twestival Global aims to reach more than $750,000 With a strong blogging community, an iPhone for their selected charity over the course of 2010. application, and plugins for Wordpress users to display their support of the cause, Kiva gets the cause word out, and that’s why they’re one of the top The Salvation Army social influencers. In addition, they have more While bell ringers will forever play a vital role in The inbound links to their site than any other, because Salvation Army’s fundraising efforts, the 140-year- the crowd is out there sending people their way in old organization is turning to digital efforts as well. hopes of getting more donations. The organization They’ve recently had their popular Angel Tree keeps more than 100,000 people updated on Twitter program go virtual, allowing volunteers to sign up daily, and more than 5,000 through Facebook. and shop for their gifts online in one easy place. The program, which has been operating f more than 40 for Habitat for Humanity years, was previously limited to certain locations in a With a presence on nearly every major social limited number of communities. Now, The Salvation network, Habitat for Humanity encourages users to Army can have a much greater impact with the help help shape the content of each of these pages with of digital media and the crowd. They have also 9 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  10. 10. crowdsourcing & community involvement in social cause established themselves on In his book The Wisdom of Twitter, Facebook, and Crowds, psychologist James YouTube. Each network gives Surowiecki argues that often, users unique insight into the better decisions and predictions organization, keeps them are made by way of large updated on news and events, events groups rather than by and invites users to give back. individuals alone. With this online presence, Crowdsourcing on a digital they’re able to reinvent the platform has given us solid organization and give it new proof of how social media tools life, while maintaining their are making that crowd as big as integrity and mission. it can be, enabling people worldwide to participate; in Special Olympics turn, better decisions and In the spring of 2009, Special sustainable impact are made. Olympics turned to social media for their innovative campaign “Spread the Word to End the Word,” and received an outpouring of support from every corner The word in corner. question was “retard,” or “the r-word,” and efforts were launched on Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness of the movement. More than 49,000 people pledged their support on the main Web site and through Facebook, and thousands used the official hashtag on Twitter to raise awareness. The cause really showed the reach of the organization and garnered support from people who may not have been aware of the campaign otherwise. Users were truly engaged, and have made a difference both off- and online. 10 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  11. 11. how charity newcomers are revolutionizing the non-profit sector By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer greenhorn superstar -- surpassing YMCA, The Salvation Army, Greenpeace and many other well- known organizations Though Kiva is alone at the top organizations. Social cause is not just about writing a check and of the list, the one shared element among all new mailing it to your favorite charity every year. No, not entrants is social influence -- meaning Twitter, for the newest wave of non-profits. This up-and- Tumblr, Facebook and links pointing to their .org coming generation of charities is developing site. innovative financial structures, embracing the power new social technologies to engage audiences, taking Kiva is a digital leader not only among non-profits big risks and changing the face of entrepreneurship but the web as a whole. This year, was and social cause in the process. named one of the 50 Best Websites of 2009 by TIME f f magazine. The microfinancing organization has "At first, we had all of these naysayers." says Matt created an API for web developers, developed blog Flannery, founder of Kiva -- a microlending non- badges and easily embedded banner ads in addition profit. "Experts said, 'That's an interesting idea for to Kiva donation groups and even an iPhone App. advertising, but that can't scale. How can thousands Forbes has called the microlending site "a cross of people from Uganda, Cambodia and Tanzania-- between Google and Bono." random places where the Internet doesn t work so doesn't well--post their pictures and get people to lend to To create transparency and develop a community- them?' The idea did seem crazy," Flannery noted. rich environment around entrepreneurship and "But we weren't thinking it was going to be a micro-lending, Kiva embraces many social media multimillion-dollar business." Flannery's tools. This dedication to social media and blogging entrepreneurial spirit and fresh perspective defines paid off when the Daily Kos picked up Kiva. Then, the next generation of non-profits impacting change. Opra came knocking and the rest is history. Kiva (founded in 2005), Charity Water (2006), To f f Kiva is not the only innovative web-based non-profit. Write Love on Her Arms (2006), One Campaign Charity Water launched Twestivals -- where Twitter (2004) are leading this new generation of charities. users Tweet, meet and give. In Feb. 2009, the From micro-lending to Twestivals to web Twestival reportedly raised $250,000. "We came applications, these charities are changing the game together at tweetups, we raised money, and and in the process, revolutionizing the non-profit together we funded 55 water projects. This means sector. 17,000 people now have access to a new life with clean and disease free water, and you can watch the disease-free water These neophytes are facing many of the challenges impact this made here," writes Austin Twestival freshly minted college students face: little organizer Michelle Greer. "We can make brilliant experience, but have an innovative, driven spirit to things happen if we put our hearts behind them." change the world. This new generation is getting their foot in the door by embracing social media and Newcomers such as Charity Water and Kiva are other web 2.0 technologies. Accordingly, they are changing the game by rallying online community the most socially influential non-profits based on our support for their social cause. Kiva ranks #1 in social findings in the Digital Influence in Social Cause f f influence f f followed by Charity Water at #3. Charity Report. Water dominates the Twitter list, placing #1 with 1 million followers; Kiva ranks #2 with 77,800 Placing #3 among over 50 charities, Kiva is the followers; and TWOLHA #7 with 46,900 followers. 11 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  12. 12. how charity newcomers are revolutionizing the non-profit sector This social movement engages new audiences while connecting like- minded people to impact change. This ahead-of-the-curve thinking is what makes these organizations have a leg to stand on. They are embracing the tectonic shifts in digital media and applying the most cutting edge concepts to charity and giving. If anything, the established leaders could learn something from the newcomers and embrace the changing tides by putting the social back into social cause. 12 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  13. 13. pushing the limits: a look at ACLU and PETA By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer charged information or backing controversial groups. It's a very "you're with us, or you're against us" In 1981, Alex Pacheco conducted an undercover 1981 mentality and as such, they have grown strong such investigation at the Institute of Behavioral Research followings. in Silver Spring Maryland. There he photographed the "dire" conditions many of the animals were living Consider how the ACLU has stirred the pot. They in. After he gathered sufficient evidence, he turned often take a controversial stance when it comes to the images over to the police who then raided the free speech. Their most notable clients are extremist lab -- leading to the arrest and conviction of groups like the Neo-Nazis and pro-terrorists, researcher, Dr. Edward Taub. organizations like North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and even teenage It was during this event that the world first heard of exhibitionists. "Left-wing groups like the ACLU too the organization behind the controversy, PETA. Since often equate constitutional rights for their clients then, PETA has graced the headlines on many with there being no consequences for their clients’ occasions: "Nude PETA Women Shower at 7th and actions - whether for their teenage exhibitionist Penn." and "PETA profits from animal suffering" are clients or for their far more dangerous terrorist only a few of the headlines that define the animal suspect clients," writes Joseph Klein, from the rights organization s marketing strategy. organization's strategy NewsReal blog This dedication to the preservation blog. of speech has created a fierce criticism of the PETA has been criticized for comparing animal organization. However, such polarizing issues have cruelty to the Holocaust, euthanizing animals and created a core group following of the organization. staging elaborate demonstrations. Scientists, in They boast over half a million supporters. particular, disapprove of PETA's extreme stance because "most life-saving procedures and As we've noted, PETA does not shy away from medications in use today…would not have been controversy. In fact they welcome it. According to possible without the ability to conduct prior research Newssift -- a sentiment analysis tool -- more than f and training in animals,” said John Howser, deputy half of PETA's mentions in the media are negative, director, Office of News & Public Affairs for while less than a quarter is positive. It's no surprise Vanderbilt University Medical Center. that much of this heat derives from newspaper headlines. With numerous elaborate demonstrations In our Digital Influence in Social Cause Report, we and civil justice actions, PETA graces newspaper were surprised PETA exerted so much influence. The headlines more often than blogs or magazines. animal rights organization ranked #2 on our digital influencer list. We found many controversial Other organizations follow a similar PR strategy. organizations, such as the ACLU and Greenpeace, Greenpeace, though the organization takes a non- have generated a large core following. How do violent approach, ranks #4 in digital influence. organizations surrounded with such intense Though Greenpeace takes a passive approach, the controversy become a top digital influencers? environmental organization has more negative sentiment than PETA. While PETA has 1,143 Organizations such as PETA and the ACLU take a negative articles, Greenpeace takes the cake with firm stance and bend the law on several occasions -- f 2,852 articles, f followed by the ACLU (#12) with often making news headlines. In many ways they 2,575 negative articles. Such media attention shapes polarize audiences by distributing emotionally public opinion and defines these organizations. 13 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  14. 14. pushing the limits: a look at ACLU and PETA Though we do not endorse taking the law into your own hands, there is something to be said about taking a stance and drawing a line in the sand. According to our digital influencer study, rallying your followers to get involved and taking an emotional investment into i t your cause i a valuable asset. PETA, G is l bl t PETA Greenpeace and th ACLU d the are examples of how stirring the emotional pot -- whether it's sit-ins or nude protests -- can command attention and consequently gain the support of a loyal following. 14 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  15. 15. best digital practices in the health industry By Katherine Parsons, Strategy Director function. The American Cancer Society also effectively gathers its following with its upbeat “circle Healthcare insurance, reform, H1N1, food of sharing” and “stories of hope” tools. This sharing stories hope contamination and countless stories that pull on our emotional bond will then encourage more sharing heartstrings are daily discussion topics in and word of mouth support. newsrooms, blogs and dining room tables across the nation. It should come as no surprise that many of Lesson 2: Mobilize a community the top 50 digital social-cause influencers are related to health. Komen Breast Cancer Walk has been called a “global movement”. Indeed, one can call it a movement Health i l l H lth is clearly on the American mind. N th A i i d Now ththe because of th mass support financially and b f the t fi i ll d question is why have these health causes made it to emotionally for the cause, and also literally because our digital influencers ranking? Why so much buzz of the mass physical movement it mobilizes. The around them and why are people so willing to Komen Breast Cancer walk encourages supporters to endorse seemingly personal health related causes on hit the road in active support of the cause—while public social media? We turn here to examine what encouraging physical exercise to stay makes the health social cause companies on our list healthy. Indeed, it has been said that those who do the most influential. In assessing the success of good, feel good. With over a million participants these health companies, we learn universal lessons since 2005, the Komen walk makes a whole lot of that extend to brands in other categories: people feel good. Besides, gaining press coverage and honoring the survivors and the deceased, the Lesson 1: Tell me a story. walk raises significant funds for the company. The walk leads to a lot of referrals in recruiting people to When you think of a social cause “health” company sponsor the walkers. This activity often takes place like those on our Digital Influencer list, the last brand online. The digital influence continues after the association you want to h i ti t t have is “sickness”, “sadness” i “ i k ” “ d ” walk, as participants proudly display their Komen lk ti i t dl di l th i K or “isolation”. These health associations are sterile badge of honor for completing the walk and, in doing and negative. However, the health companies on so, further endorse the brand and extend its digital our social cause list realize that health anything BUT influence. impersonal; health is human, alive, and dynamic. Health is about connections and people, Lesson 3: Define your market so utilizing social media should be natural for the category. Of course one’s health is serious and one s AARP deserves its spot on the digital influencer list tenuous, but why dwell on the negative when you because it has managed to re-frame perceptions can try to move forward with recovery. Indeed, around its target audience and, in doing so, create these health social cause companies are partially on intense loyalty. Instead of the “old people” brand, our digital influencer list because they are so AARP rebranded itself to be more of a club for those successful at personalizing their brand and creating mature enough to be “in the know”. AARP’s that warm fuzzy feel. They are able to do this communication also reflects this: “feeling groovy” through the stories they tell. By sharing stories of language now makes it cool and influential to be a the ti t they help, th patients th h l supporters can connect t th t t to the member of this club “leading positive social change”. b f thi l b “l di iti i l h ” brand in a warm and meaningful way. We see this in Moreover, while being a member of AARP still offers the case of our companies’ strong presence on health tips and advice for aging, it offers more than Facebook and other social media. Komen, for that and has become a lifestyle brand. And did we example, prominently features a “share a story” mention the savings and other special membership 15 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  16. 16. best digital practices in the health industry benefits and perks?! Pass on fund raising events such as the the good news. Stanford PGA Tour and Dream Home Giveaway to support its Lesson 4: Respond timely mission. At various college campuses, some student It s It’s been said that much of life organizations, organizations fraternities and is about being in the right place sororities raise funds in a at the right time. The program called Up 'til American Red Cross realizes Dawn. This heavy reliance on this and is able to quickly fundraising has actually helped mobilize to action in an St. Jude reach its digital emergency. The American Red influencer ranking as there is Cross manages to effectively always consumer generated navigate between smaller local buzz driven by the various community events and national events. disasters. The key link between them both is that they act timely and efficiently, mobilizing a network of personal and corporate support and getting appropriate press coverage. The American Red Cross has a network of millions of Americans who donate their time, money and blood to emergencies. It’s no wonder with so many grateful recipients of aid in a time of need and so many dedicated volunteers, The American Red Cross has a network of over 91,000 fans on Facebook Lesson 5: Lead with purpose… and partners. St. Jude’s Children Hospital leads with a purpose. St. Jude’s is not afraid to take on this impressive and noble mission to treat kids regardless of their ability to pay. Nor is St Jude’s afraid to accept for help. In fact, St. Jude’s relies heavily on 16 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  17. 17. Kiva case study: background By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer crowdsourcing -- a small amount of money is gathered from many contributors to create a large About Kiva impact. impact Though the microfinancing movement was Kiva launched the first person-to-person born in the 1970s, it is gaining momentum as online microfinancing website in 2005 with the mission of payments and banking become more pervasive, free alleviating poverty through lending. Since its online tools make community-building initiatives inception, Kiva has made significant strides in more accessible for webmasters and there is a actualizing their goal. As of October 2009, Kiva has renewed sense of innovation in philanthropy. distributed $100 million in loans from over 249,000 lenders in 185 countries. Key Statistics • In total, the World Bank estimates microfinancing f How it Works has helped an estimated 500 million people. Through strategic domestic partnerships, Kiva • Among 704 microfinancing institutions in 2006, identifies those entrepreneurs in need and connects there were 52 million borrowers with a mere them with the Kiva lending community. The Kiva 0.9% delinquency rate after 30 days. lending community then donates to the • In 2007, there was $25 billion in microfinancing entrepreneurs that most interest them. Through loans according to Deutsche Bank. journals and financial feedback, lenders can see the feedback impact of their investment while the entrepreneur Key Competitor creates a sustainable business to support family and Grameen Foundation -- The Grameen Foundation community members. After the typical 6-12 month was founded by Nobel Prize recipient, Muhammad lending period, the entrepreneurs then pay back the Yunus in 1997. The Grameen Foundation's mission is loan and the lenders receive their initial contribution. to empower the world's poorest people through information and microfinancing assistance. Since its Market Trends inception, it has made over one million microloans. Pay Forward -- Passing on the chance f for opportunity and prosperity through entrepreneurship Distinguishing Elements -- Grameen's website is very and microfinancing, Kiva embodies many elements of well-designed. The main distinguishing element the pay forward trend. between the two microfinancing websites are community development tools and tangible impact. The Real Deal -- From the average, real-time users In addition to images and stories of the people the delinquency rates to the average amount lost to the support, Kiva takes it a step beyond Grameen by number of defaulting entrepreneurs, Kiva strives to entrepreneurs featuring community members (both lenders and create transparency and cultivate an honest, giving entrepreneurs) and providing a developer API (that community. indexes all of Kiva's data), and numerous blog promotion tools to spread the Kiva message. This Private Eye -- Kiva speaks in numbers. Whether it's tech-savvy approach has significantly increased an "impact scrollbar" or an entire Kiva data Kiva's digital influence to make it one of the most application, the microfinancing site aims to help successful new entrants in the non-profit sector. users understand the real, tangible impact of the Kiva community. Background on Microfinancing Microfinancing shares many principles with 17 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  18. 18. Kiva case study: strategic approach Situation they support -- whether it's a smiling Haitian In 2005, when Kiva entered the non-profit carrying a bucket of water or an animal saved from microfinance market, Grameen Foundation was an market an abusive environment -- organization websites tap established leader. Kiva's approach was much into the audience's emotional core. Kiva takes a right different than that of the Grameen Foundation. The and left brain approach. The website features newcomer took a more creative approach while pictures of the entrepreneurs and lenders in addition embracing social technology. Furthermore, Kiva to key statistics. The site speaks in numbers, adopted many of the core principles that define Web whether it's a scrollbar of key statistics ("910 Gift 2.0. Transparency, community involvement and Certificates Purchased," "1 Loan Every 14 Seconds") tangible impact are central components of the Kiva or the average donation amount. This dual approach web development strategy that have worked towards is much different than most other organizations that ff achieving significant milestones -- such as raising mostly use visuals to speak with their audience. $100 million in just over four years. Accomplishments Approach This year, was named one of the 50 Best Transparency -- "We are constantly working to make Websites of 2009 by TIME magazine was the system more transparent to show how money recognized by TiE50 as one of the hottest start ups flows throughout the entire cycle and what effect it cycle, of 2009 Kiva team members, Matt Flannery and members has on the people and institutions lending it, Premal Shah were recognized on the Fortune 40 borrowing it, and managing it along the way." Kiva Under 40 list Team member, Premal Shah was has developed a strong, loyal bond with its lenders recognized by The World Economic Forum as a 2009 and entrepreneurs by creating an honest, Young Global Leader Medinge Group listed transparent environment. By reporting refunded as one of the year’s Brands With A Conscience loans, real-time delinquency rates and many other Over 585,000 people have loaned more than $100 aspects of the company, Kiva strives to build trust million to 249,000 entrepreneurs in 49 countries between the organization, entrepreneurs and lenders Kiva's Digital Influence f to develop meaningful, long-term relationships. As new entrant in the non-profit sector, Kiva has Community Involvement -- Kiva takes digital made significant progress since its inception in 2005. community development a step beyond other Kiva ranks #3 on Sparxoo's Digital Influence in Social organizations by incorporating and providing an Cause Report. The microfinancing organization array social media tools. Kiva does not just stop at surpasses established leaders such as United Way automatic Kiva Tweet apps; they provide tools for (#28), (#28) WWF (#11) and The Salvation Army (#18) in bloggers to show their support for the microlending addition much hyped social media superstars such as non-profit. Opening the door to bloggers has paid Charity Water (#20), TWOHLA (#22) and The LAMP off: "We are big supporters of the microlending (#37). The microfinancing organization places #1 in system. Many of us TreeHugger writers have the digital engagement category. With more links to invested funds in Kiva." This support from the the website than any other non-profit and blogger community could reflect our findings that placing #2 on Twitter (approximately 78,000 Kiva has more links to their site than any other followers), Kiva has grown its user-base through charity. multiple community engagement initiatives. Tangible Impact -- Most non-profit organizations speak to the right brain. With images of the people 18 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  19. 19. Kiva case study: lessons learned Simplify your Message The first visual touch point on the Kiva website is an image that illustrates how Kiva works. Kiva connects you, the lender to the entrepreneur to alleviate poverty. Through simple visuals, users immediately understand the microfinancing concept and might therefore be more likely to participate. By visualizing your process, you can add depth and purpose to your efforts -- process essential to connect with your audience. Illustrate Impact Illustrate your impact through emotionally-charged images to appeal to the right- brain, then use numbers and facts to target the left-brain. The "Impact This Week" is located on the homepage and scrolls through facts and figures to showcase Kiva's tangible impact -- whether it's "910 Gift Certificates Purchased" or "1 Loan Every 14 Seconds." Set Tangible Goals Setting tangible goals aligns your donor community with you objective. Often times, there is a macro objective -- $10,000 by Feb. 1, or 1,000 turkeys this Thanksgiving. As macro goals are often very large, it's difficult for donors to wrap their brains th i b i around it. Kiva avoids this pitfall by making micro goals for each of d it Ki id thi itf ll b ki i l f h f their entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur needs X funds and they are X% away from reaching their goal. Provide Sharing Tools Beyond connecting through popular social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, Kiva provides many tools for bloggers. Above is a banner ad that can be embedded into blogs just like a YouTube video. In addition, the Kiva WordPress plugin allows bloggers to embed their Kiva profile into their blog and Kiva Tweets automatically updates your Twitter account on a daily or weekly basis. These are only several of the many web-based applications for Kiva users. 19 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  20. 20. top 10 digital influencers in social cause 1 2 3 The American Red Cross is one of the PETA certainly knows how to generate Kiva's leadership in social influence most historic organizations on our g buzz. That might explain why the g p y helps define the next generation of p g influencer list, having been founded in animal rights organization ranks #1 in non-profits. The micro-lending 1881. However, that does not mean the cross platform category. PETA organization is changing the game they are not digitally savvy. According utilizes media, particularly video to through social technology. to Google, the American Red Cross distribute their message -- ranking #2 does A+ work. in Google video search volume. They The microfinancing organization ranks are only outpaced by the YMCA. #2 in Twitter followers -- only The American Red Cross has an surpassed by Twitter guru, Charity impressive 9/10 Google pagerank and And the animal rights organization has Water. Kiva boasts an impressive ranks #4 in the number of links to their k i th b f li k t th i quite the following. PETA ranks #3 in it th f ll i k i 78,000 f ll 78 000 followers. website. Not many organizations can the Facebook fans category with nearly reach such a prized rank. Maybe their 300,000 fans. In addition to Facebook Where Kiva really excels is in the sizable revenue has something to do and search, PETA generates some buzz blogging community. With embeddable with it. The American Red Cross has on Tumblr as well. The animal rights banner ads and Kiva profile badges for the third largest revenue stream (over group comes in #3 in mentions on the bloggers, Kiva strives to provide an $3.2 B), only surpassed by the microblogging site. array of tools for internet users to Salvation Army (#1) and Goodwill spread their message. This focus on (#2). (#2) Surprisingly, Surprisingly PETA ranks #2 in the YTD digital community development might fundraising category according to explain why more sites link to the GoodSearch. Though the American Red microfinancing non-profit than any Cross, Salvation Army traditionally raise other charity. Kiva 12,300 links enormous funds, PETA is gaining pointing to their site -- followed by the momentum. ACLU (9,300) and the American Cancer Society (9,000). 20 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  21. 21. top 10 digital influencers in social cause 4 5 6 Greenpeace is a well-oiled multimedia The American Cancer Society (ACS) is While Kiva takes the lead in the social machine. Very much like PETA, y , a digital leader in the health sector -- g influence category and PETA in cross g y Greenpeace uses video and images to putting significant distance between platform, AARP is #1 in the magnitude spread their message. them others such as the Lance of efforts category. Armstrong Foundation and the The eco non-profit excels in Google American Heart Association. This success can be attributed to image and video search volume. claiming the #1 spot in monthly Greenpeace ranks #3 in Google image The American Cancer Society has an uniques. AARP has 2.5 million uniques search volume, outpaced only by edge in the Magnitude of Efforts (#3) a month, according to UNICEF (#1) and YMCA (#2). and Social Influence (#5) categories. Greenpeace ranks #4 in Google video G k i G l id Surprisingly, for the amount of h S i i l f th t f hype AARP is followed by the American i f ll d b th A i search volume, surpassed by YMCA the Livestrong campaign garnered with Heart Association (#2) with 1.2 million (#1), PETA (#2) and UNICEF (#3). the Livestrong bracelets, the Lance monthly uniques and the American Armstrong Foundation is surpassed by Cancer Society (#3) with 890,000. For companies that utilize multimedia the American Cancer Society. Also, the organization has a Google to spread their message, the Facebook pagerank of 8/10 -- a highly prized platform presents a lot of opportunity. The ACS takes the #3 position in the position. That might be why Greenpeace ranks number of uniques in a month, with #2 in the Facebook fan category with 890,000 visitors, 890 000 visitors according to nearly 300,000 Facebook fans -- closely followed by their animal rights counterparts, PETA with 282,000 is only outpaced by AARP Facebook Fans. Livestrong ranks #1 with 2.5 million monthly uniques. The with 657,000 Facebook fans. bright spot in the social influence category is the number of links to The ACS ranks #3 with 9,000 links to the homepage. , p g 21 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  22. 22. top 10 digital influencers in social cause 7 8 9 Habitat for Humanity performs best in Unicef ranks #2 in the international The trend-setting Lance Armstrong social influence, coming in at #11. , g category -- outpaced only by Kiva. g y p y y Foundation receives high marks in the g social influence category. The home building organization has The relief organization excels in the high marks in the Newssift sentiment cross platform category, coming in at Livestrong ranks #3, on par with the category, ranking #11. Compared to #2 -- closely following PETA. Unicef other new entrant, Charity Water. the other organizations ahead in digital receives high marks in four out of the influence, Habitat is surpassed only by five sub categories under cross Much of the Lance Armstrong Kiva, ranking #8. platform. It is the leader in Google Foundation's success is draw from their image search volume -- nearly half a influence on Facebook. Livestrong Beyond social influence, Habitat for B d i l i fl H bit t f million results ahead of #2 YMCA. illi lt h d f YMCA takes the lead in th t k th l d i the number of b f Humanity breaks the top ten in two Facebook fans with 657,000. It is categories in Cross Platform. In the Beyond images, Unicef spreads their followed by Greenpeace (#2) with Google image volume category, Habitat message through videos. They do a 295,000 fans and PETA (#3) with takes the #9 spot, and comes in at fantastic job at multimedia, ranking #3 282,000. It's incredible that Livestrong #10 in the Google video search volume in the Google video search volume more than doubles the number of the category. category -- just behind the YMCA (#1) #2. and PETA (#2). Another source of social influence stems from Twitter. Livestrong breaks into the top 10 in the Twitter category with 43,000 followers. 22 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  23. 23. top 10 digital influencers in social cause 10 The American Heart Association (AHA) p performs well in the magnitude of g effort category -- coming in at #4. The AHA is outpaced by AARP (#1), the American Red Cross (#2) and the American Cancer Society (#3). The AHA's success in the magnitudes category is marked by two bright spots: monthly uniques (#2) and pagerank (#2) k (#2). The AHA is only outpaced in the monthly uniques category by AARP. AARP boasts 2.5 million monthly unique visitors -- more than doubling the AHA at 1.2 million, according to However, the AHA and AARP are the only organizations to break the 1 million market in monthly uniques. 23 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  24. 24. methodology Sparxoo considered many factors that contribute to digital influence by gathering over1,000 statistical data points. After many debates, we honed in our focus on efforts engagement and digital stretch as honed-in efforts, key measures of today’s influential digital leaders in social cause. We considered the magnitude of efforts as well as the depth of engagement and interaction across platforms. As we aggregated data, we considered several model fits and ultimately chose a hybrid model that took into account extreme performances. Our category analysis was based on the following statistical components. Magnitude of Efforts. The efforts metric is a measure of organizational initiatives to increase visibility and financial strength. We considered revenue, the number of monthly uniques, search results and page rank. Social Influence. Social influence is a measure of user and blog recognition that expands influence across a greater community We community. considered Twitter followers, Facebook fans, links into site, and audience sentiment via Newssift. Digital Stretch. Cross-platform presence is a measure of ability to engage users. We focused on Tumblr and mentions and Google video and image. 24 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  25. 25. about the authors David Capece, Managing Partner David has 13 years of diverse management experience in strategy, corporate finance, venture capital, branding and marketing. David has worked with leading organizations such as ESPN, NBC, Comcast, Lifetime, USAA, and Habitat for Humanity, as well as many entrepreneurs. Prior to founding Sparxoo, David was a senior strategist at Interbrand, the world’s largest branding agency. Previously, David was Senior Director of Marketing for He also served as senior strategist and “acting CFO” for ESPN’s Publishing and New Media business units. David graduated with an MBA from Wharton Business School and a BA from Johns Hopkins University. Katherine Parsons, Strategy Director Katherine is a creatively strategic marketing professional with a passion for brand development and innovation. Her experience includes research, insights, idea innovation research insights generation, strategic writing and project management. Her passion industries include health and wellness, social entrepreneurship, luxury products, and food & beverage. Most recently, Katherine was a Senior Consultant in the Strategy department at Interbrand NY. Prior to that she worked at Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve and McKinsey. She holds a MSc from The London School of Economics in Organizational and Social Psychology and a BA from Wellesley College. g Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer Ethan is a creative writer whose talents stretch to brand development and even business strategy. Ethan has written Internet business plans, developed consumer product brand platforms, and has provided creative leadership to advertising campaign. Previously, Ethan was a creative writing intern at the advertising firm, Partners and Napier. He also contributed to the Democrat & firm Napier Chronicle newspaper college publication, The Loop as a News and Politics Editor. He holds a BA in Communications and Journalism from St. John Fisher College. Tara Lane, Staff Writer Tara is a creative writer with experience in editing, publicity and social media. Tara has led SEO initiatives at the Local Info Company in Pittsford, NY. She has also held multiple positions in the non-profit sector including writing and public relations strategy. Tara has worked at the National Association of Independent Colleges, Universities in Washington, DC and the Kay and Yvonne Whitmore Global Management Center in Provo, Utah. She holds a BA in Communications and Public Relations, and a minor in Business Management from Brigham Young University. University 25 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  26. 26. contact At Sparxoo, relationships are our priority. We look forward to hearing from you. Contact us at 646-345-1800 or via e- mail at New York Office 100 Merriman Street, Suite #5, Rochester, NY 14607 Philadelphia A Phil d l hi Area Office Offi 103 Michael Court, Moorestown, NJ 08057 26 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009
  27. 27. image credits front page: JB ARTWORK content: Dimitri Castrique about: Jay results: ivan petrov Kiva: all images are screenshots from their web page pushing the limits 1: Jenny Sliwinski pushing the limits 2: Benjamin Earwicker spreading like 1: guillermo like… ossa spreading like… 2: teodora vlaicu crowdsourcing… 1: B S K crowdsourcing… 2: margarit ralev environment and animals… 1: fortunefad environment and animals… 2: G & A Scholiers newcomers… 1: Viktors Kozers newcomers… 2: Laura Shreck methodology: ivan petrov credits: Jay Simmons “Lens” 27 | Digital Influence in Social Cause | November 9, 2009